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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > are there upsides/downfalls to single-axle TT's?

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trailernovice

Mission TX

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Posted: 03/23/22 05:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All of the 4 travel trailers we have had to date have been double-axle.

We've stayed with 25' bunkhouse models because they fit our needs...Soon, though, our teen will be off to college....and we're thinking of downsizing the TT (as well as the house)

Soooo, the point: Are there disadvantages to single-axle (and, in most cases like Jayco, 7 feet wide rather than eight) that I haven't thought of? There's the obvious problem of tipping in the case of a blowout (when this happened on our California trip, the trailer 'settled' a bit and became 'swervy' but was in no danger of tipping over and pulling the truck over with it)...Are single-axle trailers harder to maneuver? Does the reduced weight or the configuration make them more susceptible to sway? Any other downsides I need to consider?

ON the flip side of the coin, any particular benefits/advantages to single axle?


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wanderingaimlessly

Maryville Tn

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Posted: 03/23/22 06:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you teen goes off to college, remember, they will likely be coming home in the summers, camping may resume unchanged.
Are you more likely to do longer trips without the child along?
Will your type of camp change from "kid friendly" to more boondocking or touring type of travel?
Instead of downsizing you may want more of a couples touring unit that would still offer a fold out couch for the occasional extra family member.

mleekamp

Washington, IL

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Posted: 03/23/22 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Only had one single axle TT. Loved it...but it was SMALL for 2 of us and crowded for 4. The one item you mention about a flat tire/blowout on single axle is a big safety factor in two axle trailers.

Not knowing your full situation, if it was me, I'd keep the TT you have for (1) size/room/safety, (2) as wanderinggaimlessly said, to do the occasional trip with your teen, (3) for the fact that prices are nuts and might be best to keep what you have.

I guess for me it might make sense to do a 'steady as she goes' approach and do nothing, which is always an option!

bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 03/23/22 08:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From the owner of a 16 foot Airstream: single axle is one less set of tires, brakes, and axle to replace. Smaller is shorter and shorter is harder to back up. Take that as fact from prior owner of 35 ft mh, 35ft 5th wheel, 25ft Airstream and now the 16ft. Easier to pull and maneuver. Less fuel required to pull. Less expensive tow vehicle to own. No sway in our case. What you have now may well be paid for.

We really like our 16ft. It is what we need now. We recently used it to go to Boston from South Louisiana. Very easy to hitch and go. We just use sway control but no weight distribution bars.

GrandpaKip

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Posted: 03/23/22 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Double axles usually have more cargo capacity. Our Dart has a max of 6k and is 5k or so wet, with a cargo weight of 2k.. Most single axles I’ve seen are under 1k.
Handling should not be a problem if set up correctly.
Tipping over w/ a flat is not a real concern if on relatively flat ground. Limping along w/ a flat might be.
I would think that a 7’ width would eliminate a walk around queen.
Can’t really think of an advantage except maybe cost of tires.


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JRscooby

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Posted: 03/23/22 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trucking industry has known for decades that as long as 1 tire has the capacity to carry the load, 1 will use less fuel than 2. But for many other factors cause them to stay with duals.
IMHO, if a blowout on trailer causes you to loose control or roll your rig you didn't have control before the blowout. (Fact is the rear axle of TV is where a blowout is most likely to cause loss of control) Just trumping here, but I think there is a better chance with single axle that the driver would notice a issue with all the tires on one side, pull over and stop before the tire beats the snot out of trailer.
Single axle takes less power to turn, because don't need to force axles out of line or slip tires sideways. If fenders are inside body, tandem will use more space.
I buy 1 trailer tire a year, get rid of when 3 YO. But I know a guy that will give me over 50% for my take-offs. His hands feed enough tires to curbs he gets almost new life out of them.

trailernovice

Mission TX

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Posted: 03/23/22 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Never thought about the thing Scooby mentioned re. noticing a blowout..."I think there is a better chance with single axle that the driver would notice a issue with all the tires on one side, pull over and stop before the tire beats the snot out of trailer."

That could be important....When I had a blowout on a tandem-axle trailer on I-10 in the Arizona desert, I didn't realize it until the tire was shredded (trailer feeling strange, and people passing me pointed)....drove on the shredded tire long enough to ruin the wheel and, more importantly, it tore the bathroom floor and ripped the water intake line...had to get a slapdash repair in Las Vegas to be able to continue the trip

This issue is probably not enough to move me into a single-axle by itself, but kind of counter-balances the concern about a blowout on a single causing the trailer to tip and possibly yank the truck around

Lwiddis

Southern California :(

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Posted: 03/23/22 09:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is much easier to change a tire on a double axle TT IMO. Loosen the lugs on the bad tire, run the good tire up a ramp and change it.


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larry cad

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Posted: 03/23/22 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Advantage: Cheaper when you buy it

Disadvantage: Higher repair cost when the axle bends or breaks


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jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 03/23/22 09:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It all sounds lie a huge waste of money to me. Selling your house will cost you big $$$$. Selling the trailer to buy a smaller one? Big waste of $$$ too. Keep everything you have. Grandkids need room. You do plan to take your grandkids with you, don't you?

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